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Operación Tributo: for whom honor was a commitment

Published: 2017.12.20 - 12:20:15   /  web@renciclopedia.icrt.cu  /  Ana Rosa Perdomo  /  translated by  Luis E. Amador Dominguez  /luis.amador@renciclopedia.icrt.cu
  

Operación Tributo: for whom honor was a commitmentTwenty-eight years ago, millions of Cubans throughout the country were protagonists of a deep expression of mourning, and they took to the streets and accompanied that tragic December 7, 1989, the mortal remains of the internationalist fighters, who offered their lives in defense of the most noble values of humanity.

Every Cuban welcomed the pain of their families as their own. It was a slow, compact, reflective march, on which nature also shed tears in the form of rain, but where the example and commitment to fallen comrades prevailed. Others had the honor of carrying on their shoulders and guarding the sacred remains of the children of the Homeland during the Honor Guards.

Thus, Operación Tributo was developed and conceived to give an honorable burial in the Homeland to more than two thousand women and men who, in an admirable and selfless gesture, fought for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other brotherly people or offered their services as civilians, without taking into account the risks of such generous missions.

It was not easy to move the beloved corpses to the bosom of the Homeland. They temporarily stayed, under the care of companions and the native population, in places where they never lacked a flower or the grateful memory, but the principle always prevailed that when leaving those nations, Cuba would only receive the remains of those martyrs, and not riches or privileges.

For almost three decades now, the ashes of these heroes have rested on the ground where they were born and forged their internationalist conscience, in the heat of the teachings of heroes such as General Antonio Maceo. Therefore, it was not by chance that the date of December 7 was chosen for the solemn tribute. The validity of Maceo's thought and the example of Panchito Gómez Toro became more evident that day.

By assuming the role of internationalists, the Cuban fighters persuaded that it was a way to pay off a debt to humanity, since Cuba received in its libertarian deeds the courageous and enterprising spirit of men such as Máximo Gómez, Henry Reeve, Carlos Roloff and so many others who, without asking for anything in return, extended their fraternal hand for the independence of the largest archipelago of the Antilles.

An insurmountable paradigm in that projection is Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara. With his image in their minds and hearts, courageous young people fought on the African soil, the same ones that that December 1989 received the posthumous farewell of their compatriots.

In an honorable prolongation of that day, every year the people go on a pilgrimage to the Pantheons of the Fallen for Defense in all the municipalities of Cuba, a beautiful tradition that will be maintained, because with it the assertion of the undisputed leader of the Cuban Revolution, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, in a historic and transcendent concept: “Revolution is unity, it is independence, it is fighting for our dreams of justice for Cuba and for the world, which is the basis of our patriotism, socialism and internationalism."

In a beautiful prolongation, exactly four years after the Operación Tributo, the Association of Combatants of the Cuban Revolution (ACRC) was constituted, in an act presided by Fidel and Raúl, in which the Commander of the Revolution Juan Almeida Bosque was introduced as its first president.

Its members treasure beautiful experiences and anecdotes that they often share in encounters with the new generations, also fulfilling their honorable mission to continue defending the achievements of the Revolution and Socialism in Cuba.

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